Sharon and John G


Sharon and John G

North America » United States » Ohio December 14th 2014

We had a 2:30 AM wake-up call and our bags needed to be in the hall for the porters fifteen minutes later. We got up one-half hour earlier, showered, dressed and finished packing and when we opened the door at 2:50 AM to put the bags out we realized the porters had already come by and there were no other bags in the hallway. Well, we always had the option to take the bags downstairs ourselves; which, as it turns out is what we did. Other pilgrims were milling around, having some coffee and Danish, most half asleep and none looking forward to the actual journey home; but, all I think would be glad to once again be home. First, there would be the forty-five minute journey to the Tel Aviv airport, then the ordeal of ... read more

Middle East » Israel » West Bank » Jericho December 12th 2014

I’ll just give it to you straight, the unadulterated list, which I wish someone had spelled out for me (or that I’d listened more carefully). My normal narrative will follow, and reasons for some of these rules should become crystal clear, unlike the waters of the Dead Sea. Do any of the things in the “Don’t” list and you will regret doing so. Don’t do things in the “Do” list and the worst that can happen is you might miss a once in a lifetime opportunity. First,the “Don’ts”: 1. Don’t drink the water. (This one is a biggie) 2. Don’t get water in your eyes. 3. Don’t dunk your head in the water. 4. Don’t splash. 5. Don’t try to swim. 6. Don’t go out over your head. 7. Don’t get water in your mouth. 8. ... read more
Church of St. Lazarus
Alter in the Church of St. Lazarus
Church of St. Lazarus

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem December 11th 2014

Today begins our third day waking up in Jerusalem. We have basically the same breakfast buffet. Again they have the small four-inch olive pizzas. This morning the oatmeal appears to be very runny; and, unlike previous mornings the cauldrons on either side of the buffet line are nearly full. I try some anyway, and I detect a hint of burnt oatmeal and this may be why it’s diluted. The first morning I tried the oatmeal, I also thought there was a hint of having been burned on the bottom of the pan. I love the sesame pastries; which, I gather are similar to their larger cousins, an oval shaped sesame coated treat that must be the “donut of choice” for locals. I’m skipping the hot eggs and hot dogs again, and Sharon is going with scrambled ... read more
Statue of Mary as a child with her mother
Pools of Bethesda
Tractor used to bring trash out of the old city

Middle East » Israel » Jerusalem District » Jerusalem December 10th 2014

We met Erin and Dennis for breakfast. By now I know the oatmeal is really good, so I got some of that, skipping the cheese and the deli meats and those little hot dogs that really don’t pass for breakfast sausage. Is it just me? I tried both the triangle shaped and rectangular shaped sesame pastry items to try and determine the difference, and I’m wondering if the triangular ones aren’t flakier. I decided to try some of their cold cereal as well, they have five types from Rice Krispy’s, Corn Flakes, Cocoa Puffs, Raisin Bran and a bran flake nut and fruit mix. They sure do like their Cocoa Puffs over here, because I don’t recall them being this popular in the states. They’ve been at every breakfast that we’ve had in the Holy Land! ... read more
Chapel of the Ascension on Mt. Olives
Want a camel ride with Police escorts?
Courtyard of Pater Noster with plaques of Our Father in many languages

Middle East » Israel » West Bank » Bethlehem December 9th 2014

My phone alarm went off before the wake-up call at 6 AM. We were so grateful that we didn’t need to pack up our bags and move on again this morning. That really was getting old and reminded us both once again one of the big reasons that we like to cruise. Breakfast included one thing that’s been missing for me so far: oatmeal! The rest of the breakfast was much the same as we’ve seen with cheeses and meats. They did have scrambled eggs and those little hot dog things again. And they had these wonderful puff pastry triangles that I had to go back and get a second one because they were so good. Sharon pretty much stuck with the scrambled eggs and cinnamon roll. They were serving the same juice that they’d had ... read more
Church in Bethlehem
Children's choir at church in Bethlehem
Mass at the church in Bethlehem (How many priests do you need?)

Middle East » Jordan » South » Petra December 8th 2014

Near tragedy struck just after midnight, when I rose to write the previous day’s blog. I positioned the laptop at the desk, even placing a throw rug under the chair so my feet wouldn’t get cold on the stone floor. In the room lit just by the bathroom light I found the mouse, just where it was supposed to be, and also the adapter plug for Jordan (different than the European style Israeli plug). Actually, the two round prongs of the European plug without ground will work in Jordan, but the third prong for ground is different. When I went to find the power cord for the computer, it wasn’t where it was supposed to be. After searching everywhere, and waking Sharon so she wouldn’t miss out on the joy of searching everywhere, we gave up, ... read more
Hallway of our hotel in Petra

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman December 7th 2014

We awoke in Amman in our side by side twin beds reminiscent of an “I Love Lucy” episode where Lucy (or in my case Sharon) sits up abruptly at the start of an episode shouting “What was that?” as the call for morning prayers reverberates through our room from the nearby loudspeaker at about 5:15 AM this morning. Can you imagine waking up to this cacophony every single morning? It would give me a surly disposition for sure; but, at least they don’t need donkeys. I sampled some hummus, red and green pepper salsa, pita, corn flakes and cocoa puffs and was going to try some juice but Sharon warned me about Dennis fearing about sanitary conditions for juicing the fresh fruit. Sharon is suffering, there were more soft boiled eggs but she did wrangle a ... read more
View of Aman from the Citadel
Temple of Hercules at the Citadel
palace at the Citadel

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman December 6th 2014

Now that we have good internet connection here are some more photos from Sat when we crossed from Israel into Jordan, visited the ruins at Jerash, and then spent the night in Amman.... read more
Time to load up the bus
Last view of the Pilgerhaus
Graveyard in Tiberias the guide said dated back to the time of Jesus

Middle East » Jordan » North » Amman December 6th 2014

After finishing the previous day’s blog at about five in the morning, with that stupid donkey chiming in every twenty minutes, I did manage to fall back into a deep restful sleep with my phone charging in the other room by the two only available outlets in the entire suite (okay, at eh Pilgerhaus retreat they refer to these two room units as apartments). Apartments with twin beds at that. There are plenty of great reasons to stay at the Pilgerhaus when you are on Pilgrimage in the Holy Land and are staying on the Sea of Galilee; but, if you don’t like being raised from a sound sleep in the middle of the night by donkeys, then this may not be the retreat for you! If you don’t like door keys that fail when you ... read more
Donkey at Pilgerhaus

Middle East » Israel » North District » Tiberias December 5th 2014

With three mysteries down and sixteen mysteries yet to see on this pilgrimage, we will need to be covering almost two per day; but, there will be no mysteries today! Sharon reminded me that most will come in Jerusalem. It is nice not needing to repack our suitcases while staying in the Pilgerhaus for three nights. As I’m writing these words at two o’clock in the morning local time, I’m thinking, again with that stupid donkey. It wasn’t the ultra-annoying morning is here bray, but one that doesn’t belong in the middle of a sound sleep. Dennis had noted that he had seen them in the morning up on the hill behind the Pilgerhaus. I thought the image might be good for the blog, but Dennis continued “He had seen someone out there taking a picture ... read more
Our guide Father David
Boat on the sea of Gallilee
Dennis, Erin, and John on the boat

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